Skip to Content

Best Finish For Ash Wood: All The Details You Need!

Ash wood is a very popular wood used for various purposes. Like many other planks of wood, ash wood also needs finishing. The finishing helps to get the best from the wood.

Many types of finishing are available in the market.

But which is the best finish for ash wood?

Water based finish is best for the ash wood. They are easy to apply and dry quickly. But demands three to four coats. Different brands of water-based finishes are available. They protect from liquid and moisture. A water-based finish also gives a gloss, semi-gloss, or satin sheen.

This is not the end. There are many more details to the finishing of ash wood. Keep reading to know it all!

What Is The Best Finish For Ash Wood?

Two types of ash are available. While ash and black ash. Ash wood is mainly used for tables, jewelry boxes, and guitars. To make these products, a good finished look of the ash wood is important.

Different types of varnishes, natural oil, and hard wax oil are used for finishing. Here four best finishing liquids are given.

Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane

Minwax Helmsman Spar Urethane is easy to apply. This gives the wood a beautiful look and protection. This type of urethane can be used on exterior subjects like doors, windows, and bathroom cabinets. 

It gives the ash wood protection from stains, water, alcohol, and other risks. Like urethane, many best stains for ash wood are available. Minwax helmsman spar urethane gives gloss or satin or semi-gloss sheens. It ensures protection against rain.

While applying, use a high-quality brush. Wait for four hours after application. Then you can give a second coating. If a third coating is needed, wait for six hours after the second application. Rest it for 24 hours.

Minwax Polycrylic Protective Finish

Minwax polycrylic protective finish is water-based. The water-based formula dries easily and faster than others. Multiple layers can be applied within a day. Water-based polycrylic gives a darker color. It can give a finishing outlook within three hours.

It gives a plasticky look. This water-based polycrylic gives protection from seasonal weather changes. Wine, coffee, and permanent markers can not affect the wood due to its protection. Some people like to have a dark walnut stain on the wood. For them, a Minwax penetrating wood finish is the best one.

Deft Clear Wood Finish

Deft clear wood finish is mainly for interior subjects. It can enhance the interior surface of the wood and the natural color. It needs no brush or applicator. Easy to apply for the spray system. It is a baby-safe product.

This finish formula dries quickly because of the water-based formula. It dries up within two hours after the first application. Wait six hours if you need to coat again. It gives a satin finish to the wood. Also, can protect the wood from fruit juice, wine, and alcohol.

This is a special type of finish. The deft wood finish needs no sanding. It can fill up the pores easily. There remains no extra product after use. You can get a protective and almost natural look in one coating.

Wipe-on Poly Finish

Wipe-on poly finish is applied with clean cloths. No need to be tense to buy a high-quality brush. Easy to apply. It can protect from water, chemical, and food stains. You can get a hand-rubbed look from it.

It is a water-based formula. Quickly dry the surface within two hours after the first application. You can recoat and wait for 24 hours. This formula needs no formaldehyde. That’s why it is safe to apply in indoor subjects. It comes in the form of satin and gloss.

These are the best Ashwood finishes you can use. Below I have discussed the necessity of using a finish on the Ash wood. Have a look at that!

Why Do You Need to Finish Ash Wood?

The importance of finishing the Ash wood is enormous. Here are some major reasons for finishing the Ash wood. 

Protect The Original Color

A good finish can protect the natural color of the wood. It does not cover or vanish the color. You can even see the real striation of the wood after finishing. Overall you can get a natural look with moderate or dark colors.

Close The Open Pores

Ash woods contain multiple open pores. Without a good finish, the wood will remain rough. It needs no pore filler if you do not finish it well. The pore filler can fill the pore. If it contains more formulas, that can be removed further.

Different types of pore filler are available in the market. I have some suggestions for you:

Aqua Coat, Best Wood Grain FillerCheck Current Price
Water-Based Wood & Grain FillerCheck Current Price

These are the best products for filling pores. You will surely love them!

Aesthetic Look

Not always the natural look can please you. You will always need a variety of gloss, semi-gloss, satin, or matte outlook. A finish formula can give you the desired one. You will mesmerize by the aesthetic application of the final product.


The coating can increase the longevity of the wood. Water, liquid, and vapor easily damage any kind of wood. Finishing liquid can protect the wood from these liquids. That increases the shelf life of the wood. The surface gets a protection layer from insects.


The smoothness depends highly on the finish material of the Ash wood. Wood is traditionally a rough surface. It is made smooth by giving it a proper finish. But that doesn’t mean that smoothness depends on the finishing only. 

It also depends on the sanding process. Different grit of sandpaper helps to flatten the surface. However, the pores will not give you a proper smooth surface. There are some differences between sealing and filler. The pore filler fills all the pores. 

Whereas the finish can seal the surface. It protects the wood from moisture. Thus a smooth surface is obtained.

These are the main reasons behind finishing the Ash wood. To accomplish these results, you must finish the Ashwood properly. Check the procedures below to understand the finishing process clearly.

How to finish ash wood?

Ash wood is a sophisticated thing. One must be careful to get the best from it. The same condition goes for finishing the wood. Follow these steps to finish your Ashwood without any problem.

Sand With Different Grit

It is an important step. You need to smooth the surface with sandpaper. If you want to stain dark, you should not cross 220 grit. Start your work with fine sandpaper. Fine sandpaper is mainly 100 or 120 grit. Then for dark staining use very fine sandpaper.

Remove The Dust

You should not avoid this step. Otherwise, you will not get a proper smooth surface. Try to use fresh cloth. Try to avoid damp cloth, it can create problems. Clean the whole surface carefully.

Apply Sanding Sealer

Now you should seal the surface. Don’t shake the finish can. Stir gently with a brush. Apply it to the whole surface. You should do this process three to four times. Wait for three to four hours after applying finish to the surface.

After drying the surface, you need to use the sandpaper again. Now use 220 grit sandpaper again. Clean it with a cloth. Then apply the sanding seal and chill. Nowadays mainly unfinished wood is cleaned with Sandpaper.


Now you can apply oil-based or water-based stains for a better look. It will give a beautiful appearance. You can avoid this step if you want. Some finish does not allow staining. Read the manufacturer of the finish before staining.

Apply Pore Filler

Pore fillers come in different colors. You can match the color with the stain. Apply the pore filler to the surface. Remove the excess pore filler. Water-based pore fillers are easy to apply. You can remove this step if there are no big pores or if you are satisfied.

Follow the above-given procedure to avoid any hassle. If you are confused, take help from a professional!


How do you finish ashwood?

By sanding and applying sanding sealer I can finish ash wood. First I have to smooth the surface with 120, then 100 or 80 grit sandpaper. I clean the wood and apply finish liquid to the surface. Then dry for 3 to 4 hrs. Again I sand with 220 grit and apply again. I do it again and rest for 24 hrs.

What stain looks good on ash wood?

General finishes oil-based gel stain looks good on ash wood. Other stains also go well with the ash wood. But the oil-based stain helps to get the best look of the wood.

How do you seal ash?

I can seal ash by applying sanding sealer. It gives a perfect finish to the wood. The wood can not come in direct contact with the exterior because of the sealer. It protects the natural color of the wood. Any liquid, moisture, or weather change can not hamper the wood for it.

Does ash wood stain well?

Yes, ash wood stains well. Ashwood contains a lot of pores. The color easily penetrates the pores. Many blocks of wood get off-color because of the oil stains. But ash wood carries the oil stain quite well. Ashwood does not lose its grain and texture because of stains.


That’s all about today’s discussion on the best finish for ash wood. Hope I have clarified all the facts related to the finishing process. If any query remains, let me know.

Until then stay safe!